Promoting articles

How to get your articles featured on big sites

I recently had an article featured on Entrepreneur, one of the leading business blogs (and print magazines) in the world.

The benefits of posting a guest article on a popular, influential blog like this are simultaneously varied and substantial - especially if you can write something that captures the interest of their readers.

For example, my article In the Social Age, Don't Advertise, Engage ended up on their Most Shared Stories list:

Entrepreneur's most shared stories list

It generated many thousands of tweets, likes and shares, and a decent amount of discussion and debate too:

Entrepreneur's social sharing and buzz

Aside from the more immediate benefits, there are less tangible long term ones like better SEO (from high quality backlinks), better visibility (from being shared socially), greater authority (from appearing on a high authority site), and more.

The problem is that large online publishers are swamped by thousands of poor quality writers trying to get their content (and associated backlinks) past the editors.

This makes the editors' lives difficult, and that difficulty manifests itself through the difficulty you and I experience in trying to first get noticed, and then published.

So here are five great tips that can help put your blog/business on the map...

1. Focus on a few valuable sites

As of 2014 there is absolutely no value in writing great content for poor sites. Don't bother trying to get articles posted all over the show - Google is against high volume, low quality guest posting.

Instead, find a few sites that are of great quality and closely related to your niche, and focus on those. This tactic will help to conserve time and effort, and lead to better returns.

2. Go direct to the people in charge

Many big sites have generic article and idea submission forms. These tend not to work too well because they are heavily utilized by the millions of spammers out there.

Instead, spend some time reading articles on your target sites, find out who the editors are, and work with them directly.

3. Make genuine connections

Approach guest blogging with the attitude that it is a medium to long term investment. Doing this allows you the time to form genuine connections with the people that count before pitching.

Take the time to follow publishers and editors on social media. Comment on what they are doing, and become a constructive presence in their community first.

4. Be persistent

Not every article you write (no matter how great you believe it is) will be published. There can be any number of reasons an editor decides not to publish your work.

This doesn't mean it will never happen. So, without resorting to spamming people every day, be persistent.

I am constantly writing articles for my own blog. But, every now and then (perhaps once or twice a month), if I think one is of real interest to a specific site, I might offer them first refusal.

If they publish, great. If they decide not to take the article, it's no big loss. I simply post it to my own blog.

5. Always offer good quality

As heartbreaking as it is to take your best articles and give them away to another site, consistently offering high quality content will help foster a good reputation and make it easier to place articles.

I should point out that writing on certain hot topics also increases the chances of being published because big sites need to stay recent and relevant.

Remember that there is no benefit in giving away great content unless you are certain that the visibility and authority derived from posting elsewhere will bring more value than the organic search traffic the article would generate on your own blog.

So those are my five best tips for getting your content featured on industry leading sites. What else would you say is important?

Share your tips in the comments.

Proof that business blogging works. Pic by nicoleec

The vast majority (in the region of 95%) of all sites and blogs ever created fail to make any money at all - let alone a profit. Against this backdrop it's quite easy to lose faith in blogging as a viable tool for online marketing.

But all is not lost. There are plenty of businesses out there quietly creating great articles and content to share and promote around their networks. Many of them have had great success in driving new leads, customers, sign-ups, traffic and direct revenue.